As I end the glorious year 1 of the best MBA program in the world, it is only fitting that I give the spring quarter a fitting tribute with a quick round up!
The quarter started on a high note. I'd signed my internship offer from Microsoft for the summer (Product Management) and from MarkedUp Inc. (a Santa Monica based startup) for the spring (Product Marketing). Yes, its very common for students here to do an internship during the school year and because the school is so well-entrenched in the Silicon Beach community (LA's startup scene) and opportunities keep coming all the time. Naturally, with the recruiting season behind me, I was relieved of so much stress. Also, while most people are confused about the difference between Product Mgmt and Marketing, I got a chance to dabble with both!!
I got to meet so many vivacious new admits from the incoming class of 2015 at the A days, where I represented the International Business Association(IBA), Anderson Creative and the International students panel.
As the first week of classes began, we started practicing for our C4C cheer, part of which we'd performed already in the Anderson Talent Showcase (February), but wanted to take it to the next level. After 3 weeks of tireless practicing, we put up a great show at the Stanford C4C weekend, which Kyle talked about earlier. You should totally watch the video below and stare at it with your jaw touching the floor (ok that part's optional). WHile the dance itself wasn't that difficult, learning to throw and catch an athletic girl took many dark turns during the practice sessions. Fortunately, everyone lived to dance the day!
Somewhere along the way, on the trip back from Stanford, we also finalized our AMR team. AMR is one of the most important parts of the second year of the MBA, and everyone therefore selects their teams and project preferences very carefully. I will be working on a new technology created by a Ph.D student at Anderson - specifically trying to establish a company and then it to market. The technology, called Mighty Mount, won the Knapp Venture Competition - another key component of the UCLA MBA. Yes, we have an amazingly entrepeneurial program here! What better way to capitalize on that by doing your second year project on building your own business? :)
Talking of entrepreneurship, I helped organize the biggest conference at Anderson - the EA Conference, which saw a huge attendence from successful entrepreneurs, VCs and students. Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, gave the most amazing keynote that I've ever heard in any conference so far and made me realize that I could just be hearing to the next Steve Jobs of the world. It was amazing to see so many illustrious people in the school at the same time. Speakers came from companies such as Google, Disney, Fox, Yahoo!, CornerStone On Demand, Riot Games, Veggie Grill and many more. A complete roundup of the conference can be read at buzzfeed.
So much going on, but was I even studying, you wonder? Well ofcourse, I took 5 classes this time and was loaded with tons of work at all times. However, I really enjoyed the classes, in particular, the Tools for Business Strategy class which had mini projects for Deloitte and PwC, and the Brand Management class which is jointly taught by Professor Sanjay Sood and Jim Stengel (ex-CMO, P&G). In the latter, we got a chance to meet some really amazing people, such as Erik Ryan of Method, Davide Grasso of Nike, and Robert Eckert, former CEO of Mattel Inc. We also visited Ogilvy's LA Office and listened to their intriguing story of UCLA Anderson's rebranding effort (see a video made my Anderson Students for the new brand). Seriously, where else could you get to meet these people? I fell even more in love with my school! :)
While we're talking of meeting famous personalities, this quarter made me completely starry eyed. A huge advantage of being inside one of the best universities in the country is that you get to be part of the larger community, where so much more keeps happening all the time. Some of us were lucky to take advantage of that and meet Josh Radnor (Ted Mosbey of How I Met Your Mother), the Hangover star cast at the premier and Owen Wilson at the premier of The Internship at the Bruin Theater. At UCLA, the stars come to you!
This isn't all that UCLA has to offer though. I started discovering really fun events organized by different departments at UCLA that are also open for MBA students. Professor McCann, who heads the Center for Global Management at Anderson, secured VIP tickets for Anderson students at the Trisha Brown Dance show at the Royce Hall (the most exhilerating dance performance I've seen) ...
and the Graduate Student Association organized a trip to the Knotts Berry Farm (awesome rides!).
We rounded out the quarter by yet another set of fun activities - first the Prom (which was also my first prom ever - you're never too old for your first prom, right?) and then the Hollywood Hike (literally ending at a high note!!)
Oh and did I tell you about the amazing beach bonfires, making s'mores ( a teaser below) and so many other things?! Phew, I dont think I can describe my adventures at UCLA Anderson in just words.
And finally the icing on the cake, or perhaps the cake itself...
You really need to be here to experience it for yourself. I heart UCLA!
~Ayushman Jain (MBA '14)